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Broadband Pension Scheme (PO-21173)

Complainant: Mr N
Complaint Topic: Breach of trust
Ref: PO-21173
Outcome: Upheld
Appeal outcome: None
Respondent: Rowanmoor Executive Pensions Limited
Rowanmoor Trustees Limited
Mrs GF-R 
Type: Pension complaint or dispute
Date:
Appeal: No

Ombudsman’s Determination

Outcome

The complaint is upheld against the Independent Trustee and Mrs GF-R.  

Further action is required by the Trustees (as defined in paragraph 10 below). In order to put matters right the following actions shall be undertaken by the Trustees within 28 days of my Determination:-   

  • The Trustees, led by the Independent Trustee, shall draw up a policy on how to manage conflicts of interest.  

  • The Trustees will then have an opportunity to agree a basis for the share of the Fund, (as defined in clause 1 of the Rules and set out in Appendix 1) within 28 days following the drafting of the above policy.  

  • If they still cannot agree the basis upon which a share of the Fund is to be derived within those 28 days, the Trustees, using their best endeavours, are to agree upon an expert and the apportionment of the Fund shall be determined by that expert.   

  • In accordance with Clause 8.4 of the Rules, the determination of the appropriate members’ shares of the Fund by the expert shall be binding on the Trustees.  

Complaint summary

Mr N has complained that Rowanmoor and the Independent Trustee have breached their duties of care and/or trust in their roles as administrator and independent trustee of the Scheme and that Mrs GF-R has breached her duty of trust with possible fraud as a trustee.   

He says that the actions of the respondents have resulted in a declared value shift and unauthorised payment of £58,590, as filed with HMRC on 12 January 2017, but that the actual figure may be as much as £433,802.   

He asks that Rowanmoor and the Independent Trustee be held financially accountable for the losses caused by their negligence and that the apportionment of the fund made between members in 2004 be examined as to its legality and re-evaluated in accordance with the changes introduced by the Finance Act 2004, and the Pensions Act 2004, that came into force on 6 April 2006.   

He also asks that Mrs GF-R is removed as a trustee to enable the fund to be properly administered without deliberate obstruction and breach of trust.

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